The Truth Will Set You Free
In John 8:31ff, Jesus was talking with some Jews who had come to know Him as their Messiah. He makes this profound statement that encompasses all of man’s history on the earth and future eternity as well — “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They were amazed to think they would be “made free”, so Jesus elaborated and made this conclusion in 8:36 – “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Ever since Adam & Eve were banished from the Garden, mankind has been struggling to be given lasting freedom from the bondage to sin and its consequences. God’s Written and Living Word contain the complete and final Truth about how man’s relationship with God is re-established. Knowing the incredible authority and validity of this Book, the rich wisdom that it reveals, the hope that is given to the man or woman who trusts in it, we begin to understand value of the Real Truth and Real Freedom which it offers.
Why do we need doctrine?
- The study of what we believe about the Bible is called “bibliology”. These “ologies” (hamartiology, ecclesiology, eschatology…) stand as pillars of truth on which biblical ministries and the Church as a whole establish their foundations. These categories of belief seek to recognize certain truths to be essential to our understanding of God. God has led His people to organize these truths into a “system of theology”.
- Biblical Doctrine is developed by sorting the Bible’s teachings out one by one, observing all of the related Scriptures that teach a truth, in order to grasp all the biblical aspects. It has involved godly men & women, both in the Church age, and reaching back to the godly faithful Jews of the Old Testament times. These people have been dedicated to the task of gaining a complete grasp of a biblical truth that is trustworthy and faithful to the whole teachings of God’s Word.
- “Essential Truths” seeks to highlight those doctrines that form the core of biblical truth. Within our global, diverse church of born again believers, we recognize there are going to be differences of opinion on some various doctrine understandings. However, there are certain Essential doctrines that aren’t debatable. Examples are the inspiration of Scripture, the virgin birth of Christ, God’s sovereign and literal creation of the universe, the fact of man’s sinful condition, and the complete provision of man’s salvation by the finished work of Christ on the Cross and His literal resurrection.
Which came first?
- What is the single greatest doctrinal truth in the Bible? It is God Himself! However, as we begin our study of doctrines, we will first look at the Bible itself since that is how we learn of all the doctrines.
- In order for an unbeliever to come to faith in Jesus Christ, he needs to agree with the authority of the Bible as the literal word of God, and He needs to agree what claims about Himself. That can be summarized in three simple statements:
- God Is – He has always existed, and is sovereign over all of creation
- He Is Who He Says He Is – In the Bible, He tells us about His power, knowledge, holiness, justice and other important characteristics
- He Does What He Says He Will Do – He has complete plans for His creation, for mankind, and for each of us. These plans include judgment of sin and sinners, and an eternity in His presence for those who accept His provision of salvation through Christ.
- God Himself is Truth & Life, He always has been Holy, Righteous, Just
- Revelation reveals and explains these and many other great truths about God
- So while God is primary, we need the Bible in order to know about God and understand how He has provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him.
We Believe the Bible!
How do we develop and declare our belief in the Bible? We can begin to develop a set of statements which express our belief in the inspired Word of God by reviewing major books on doctrine, looking at doctrinal statements of our church and other God-honoring organizations, and hearing trustworthy godly leaders express their own faith. Some of your conclusions will focus on these items:
- Everything which the One True God, our Creator, knew we needed to know about Him, and how to have a relationship with Him, is contained in this Book.
- Inspired – The Bible is God-breathed, a miraculous work by God alone, ingesting His very life into it.
- The Bible is written by authors supernaturally led & enabled by God.
- Plenary – The Bible is equally inspired in every detail – we can’t pick & choose only portions of it as inspired.
- Verbal – Every actual word of all 66 books of the Old and New Testament canon (in the original manuscripts) – not just the ideas or thoughts are inspired. Translations are judged by the care they take to be faithful to the actual words, seeking to properly represent what the words and grammar express as the intended message God gave the author by inspiration.
- Inerrant – The Bible is absolute truth, completely error-free (again, in the original manuscripts) – there are no conflicts between different parts of the Bible, and their is no other more superior authoritative source of truth.
- Infallible – The Bible is completely trustworthy, contains no error, and is the Christian’s absolute and only authority and guide to salvation and a life of faith, our “sole source and authority” for all Truth man needs to know and live by.
Go further in the Word… Go further in the Word… What do these verses teach you about God’s Word, the Bible?
- Rom. 15:4
- Isa. 40:8
- Matt. 7:24
- Heb. 4:12
- Prov. 30:5
- Psa. 119:105
- 1 Pet. 2:2
- Isa. 55:11
- 1 Pet. 1:24-25
- Matt. 24:35
- 1 Jn. 5:13
Stay in the Word!
These Bible studies are designed with you in mind! Every one of us need to have a habit of spending some time every week studying God’s Word. Each of the studies here on StayintheWord is intended to provide you enough “fuel” to carry you through 30-45 minutes of study.
Be sure to commit to using a Bible Study Journal – either paper & pen or digital. Whenever you study God’s Word, be sure your Journal is close at hand.